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Snake Identification Challenge of the Week: From Florida to California, Two Very Different Snakes

Hello David,

I found you through a google search of trying to identify a snake that I saw while hiking  in Santa Barbara. I was hoping you could help me identify the snakes in the attached video. 

There have seen so many snakes this season! Seems like every time I go for a trail run I see a snake on the side of the trail. I think the recent abundance of rain in California is the reason for so many snakes now. I have seen at least 5 different types in a few areas of Santa Barbara. The one in the video seems to be a baby and it had a bright yellow tail tip. After doing a google search i cant tell if it is a cottonmouth of copperhead or neither?

I would greatly appreciate if you would advise. 

Thank you,

Ashley B.

I have another one for you that was in my driveway. Just before dark please identify it for me . and fyi it is white on the bottom side.thank you

Deanne T.

What Are These Snakes?

Snake Identification Post Ground Rules
-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that’s why I run these posts.
-If you can’t explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you’re wrong, we can explain why. If you’re right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the point of these posts.

-This is not a pop quiz, any kind of research is encouraged and I hope you will engage with other commenters to try to figure these snakes out. I will eventually chime in with my thoughts.

-Assume I know what kind of snake is in the picture. I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don’t send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed. Don’t hate, educate.

Enjoy what you read and learn here?